Stamp collecting with my Porsche maintenance book
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Many of us like to collect stamps. When I was very young my mother told me about S&H Green Stamps. You would receive these at stores as a reward for purchases, and as you collected them, you could trade them in for prizes.
Back in the 1970s, I can remember my brother and I collecting NFL player stamps at the local Sunoco station. When Dad would fill up the car with gas he would get the free stamps, which we would add to our official book with the ultimate goal of collecting them all.
More recently, I ran into a retired couple who is traveling the country visiting all of the National Parks. A big part of their visit is to go to the front desk of that park and get an official National Park stamp for their official visitor’s book.
They had collected over 200 of them and had about another 200 parks to visit until they could fill up their book. Ah, such fun.
Years later, I’m still excited to see or collect stamps, especially when it comes to my Porsche vehicle maintenance book. This is a great source of documentation, especially for the collector Porsche, and I feel entrusted in keeping up the maintenance book for my cars.
I’ve been fortunate to find my original books in place, and properly filled out for all my collector 968s. Are you familiar with the maintenance book? If not, let me give you tour of an early ‘90s example:
First a disclaimer: we are assuming that "back in the day" the original dealer followed the process and filled out everything that they were supposed to.
If that was done, then years later, as the current owner of your collector Porsche, you are now enjoying the fruits of their labor by knowing exactly how the original delivery date and the following vehicle maintenance played out.
When perusing the book we start with the inside cover. Here you will find a neat pocket for the original salesperson’s business card. The original dealer would often place their business card in the pocket for contact reference in case the new owner had a question or problem or maybe a referral for a future sale.
Moving to page 1, we find all the good stuff. First up, the "first in-service date of your Porsche."
Here you’ll find the date your Porsche drove off the dealer lot as well as the mileage. The first registered owner’s name and signature along with the signature of the dealer is here as well as the first dealership stamp!
An official Porsche dealership stamp is made up of the Porsche emblem, the dealer number, their location and is used to certify activity in the maintenance book.
Page 1 continues with a copy of the vehicle information sticker illustrating your VIN, paint and interior codes, and options codes along with some additional information.
Page 2 of the manual lists the all the owners. Details of up to six owners can be found there.
The remainder of the book is dedicated to maintenance. The next few pages highlight the factory recommended maintenance schedule along with the mileage and suggested time interval associated with each.
The book then documents the maintenance visits with six sectioned boxes per page to record a visit, the detail on the performed activity, and a place to collect that official stamp.
Box No. 1 is the delivery inspection showing the date and mileage. Typically, the first maintenance box was filled out as the car went through new car dealer prep and was delivered.
The remainder of the boxes were set aside for maintenance with a check box for yearly, vehicle, or emissions control maintenance and an area to enter the date and mileage at the time of the maintenance.
Then, the dealer would certify the visit with that all-important stamp and sometimes a signature. This process would go on for years, and track the car’s maintenance history as it visited the dealer.
Now, even though the maintenance book was put together to document visits to the dealer, it is not uncommon for the independents to jump on the bandwagon and add their maintenance history as well.
Many of the indies have gone to the trouble of having a rubber stamper made up so that they can put their stamp in the book along with the information on the work performed in the same manner as the dealer, and that is fine. Documented maintenance is documented maintenance no matter where it is done so it is good to have.
I do much of the maintenance on my cars myself. That said, there are still jobs that I need someone more skilled or with the proper tools to do.
As a PCA member, I often utilize one of our local independents to do the work but I will also visit the dealer on occasion knowing that not only will I have the work done by a factory-certified mechanic, I also get my official book stamp.
As the current caretaker of my Porsches, I feel good doing my part in maintaining the documented maintenance history of my cars, and I know that a future owner will appreciate that just as I have.
Maybe it is just me, but I think receiving the stamp in the book that began all those years ago is pretty neat.
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